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Published in Print: September 4, 1991, as News Updates

News Updates

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A northern California school district has suspended a high-school coach for making racial slurs, following threats by state officials to cut district funding unless disciplinary action was taken.

The Susanville School District suspended Edward Frank Munn from coaching for five years for unprofessional conduct. It also called for the resignation of the school board chairman and for a reprimand of the superintendent who failed to take earlier disciplinary action against the coach.

Mr. Murin, who was accused of verbally and physically abusing students, continues to teach but must take cultural-awareness training.

State officials had threatened to cut off up to $3 million in state aid to the district after concluding last year that Mr. Murin violated antidiscrimination laws. (See Education Week, May 1, 1991.)

A Cincinnati-area school district has filed suit against Ohio officials charging that the state has acted illegally in requiring districts to give personal student data to a new computer system.

The suit by the Princeton City School District claims that the state cannot legally require confidential student data to be fed into its new statewide Education Management Information System.

Moreover, the suit claims, the state department of education has failed to follow procedures established in state law for determining what types of information districts are required to collect. The suit cites concerns that the information may be misused. Education-department officials have maintained that individual student data in the system will be kept confidential and used only to develop aggregate statistics. (See Education Week, March 27, 1991 .)

The Maryland Board of Education has given preliminary approval to a plan to require community service as a prerequisite for high-school graduation.

Under the requirement, which would go into effect for incoming 9th graders in the 1993-94 school year, students would have to put in a total of 75 hours of community service beginning as early as the middle school grades, said Nicholas Hobar, assistant state superintendent for instruction.

While the amount of time devoted to service would be set by the state, the board left up to local districts such decisions as what activities would qualify as service and how the hours might be distributed over a student's school career, Mr. Hobar said.

The unanimous board vote came on a proposal made in June by the outgoing state superintendent, Joseph L. Shilling, to replace the currently mandated citizenship test with a service "practicum." (See Education Week, July 31, 1991 .)

The board, however, decided to keep the test in addition to the service requirement, Mr. Hobar said.

A public hearing on the new requirement is scheduled for Oct. 29, and a final board voted could come Nov. 20, according to Mr. Hobar.

A federal judge in Florida has given Duval County school officials permission to continue a desegregation plan that encourages parents to send their children to magnet schools.

The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was "premature" in arguing that the voluntary plan would resegregate the city's schools, ruled U.S. District Judge John Ii. Moore 2nd. The group had asked the judge to assign white suburban students to inner-city schools and send some black students to suburban schools or reintroduce forced busing.

The district has developed a network of magnet schools offering concentrated programs in such areas as science and fine arts. The policy originally was developed with cooperation from the N.A.A.C.P. and won that group's endorsement. (See Education Week, Aug. 1, 1990.)

A New Mexico judge has refused to grant an injunction sought by parents challenging a plan by Albuquerque school officials to pilot test year-round schooling in the district.

State District Judge Susan Conway agreed that in some of the 11 schools scheduled to adopt the year-round calendar last month, parents were not given ample opportunity to comment on the plan. However, issuing an injuction would only have caused more havoc, she said.

The school beard earlier this year voted to put all of its schools on the year-round schedule by the 1994-95 school year. (See Education Week, May 22, 1991 .)

Vol. 11, Issue 01, Page 1

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